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Last week, the Turkish town of Akcakale was hit by a Syrian mortar. The Turkish government promised retaliation if it ever happened again. Yesterday, Oct 3rd, a Syrian mortar fell on a residential neighborhood in Ackakale, killing a family of five.

In retaliation, Turkey has begun shelling Syrian government positions. An unknown number of Syrian soldiers have been killed in the Turkish response.

The Turkish parliament has been called to an Emergency meeting to authorize further action.

Turkey is a NATO Member. A NATO spokesmen has praised the Turks for their restraint, and demanded that Syria cease it's attacks across the Turkish border. NATO members, such as The United States, are treaty bound to defend any member state which is attacked. It is unclear what actions NATO members might take in response.

Turkey already has one of the worlds largest militaries, and Assad's military is already stretched thin fighting a popular revolution. It  is unlikely that the Syrian government would survive an attack from the Turkish military alone, much less a sustained attack with NATO support. It is unclear what further action Turkey has planned.

A meeting of the UN Security Council is expected to condemn the Syrian attack.

BBC
Reuters
Al Jazeera

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (24+ / 0-)

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:31:57 AM PDT

  •  Being President of US is an awesome responsiblity. (12+ / 0-)

    Obama has the cool head we need in this ciircumstance. Somehow the message that adding political interference to this tense world situation could be diasterous for our national security needs to be gotten across.

  •  The Syrian regime is full of idiots (12+ / 0-)

    Turkey is not a rag-tag bunch of under-fed and under-equipt military defectors and enthusiastic but untrained rebels nipping at your margins. It has a modern well-funded and trained military and more than its share of western educated and trained generals who would be more than happy to use that force if provoked to do so. That, and politicians who are smart enough to take full advantage of the Syrians stupidity to maximum effect when the smoke clears.

    Bonus for Turkey, western powers that would never, ever get involved with going at Syria themselves would be more than happy to back the Turks being the edge of the sword. NATO flag, Turkish blade.

    If Turkey is going in now, or if not now, is well on its way to being goaded by further Syrian actions into going in, Assad better have a ticket to Paris or God Knows Where and boxes stuffed with treasure to finance his life in exile ready. It would be very easy to see Turkey systematically bombarding Syrian military positions, or, far worse for the Syrian regime, using it's air force to take out the Syrian attack helicopters and aging fighters in the air and armor on the ground, Assad's regime simply won't last very long.

    Between murmurs that Iran's economy is starting to falter, and this news, Mitt Romney's victory lap from the debate might be over sooner rather than later.

    I don't see how you top potentially adding Assad finding himself on the scrapheap of history, with US aid but without US forces directly involved, and teaser stories that there might be a ticking clock on the regime in Iran due to the added harsh economic sanctions placed on the regime, a month out from an election.

    Obama can credibly claim that his foreign policy choices, in stark contrast to the NeoCons that gave us the Iraq War standing with Romney itching to get US troops engaged in more ground and air wars, has paid dividend after dividend rather than get us bogged down in more wars.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 01:03:24 AM PDT

    •  Not sure NATO will jump in so quickly (5+ / 0-)

      Depends on the Syrian response. If they are foolish enough to persist, that could be another story.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 01:48:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  For example (7+ / 0-)

      I would not exactly call this a declaration of war by NATO.

      The Guardian

      In an interview with the Guardian on Monday, the Nato secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said the alliance was committed to the defence of its key south-eastern pivot, Turkey. But he emphasised that there was scant prospect of Nato military intervention in Syria.

      "Syria is a very, very complex society," he said. "Foreign military interventions could have broader impacts."

      The statement issued after Nato's meeting in Brussels demanded an immediate halt to "aggressive acts" against Turkey.

      The shelling from Syria "constitutes a cause of greatest concern for, and is strongly condemned by, all allies", Nato ambassadors said in a statement, after they held a rare late-night meeting at Turkey's request to discuss the incident.

      "The alliance continues to stand by Turkey and demands the immediate cessation of such aggressive acts against an ally, and urges the Syrian regime to put an end to flagrant violations of international law," the statement said.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 02:35:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  BBC backs up this take (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OllieGarkey, koNko

        I was listening earlier and there is a fair amount of circumspection in the statements coming from Turkey and NATO. Russia is pressuring what's left of Syria's regime to guarantee this won't happen again (for whatever that's worth).
        It seems all actors are doing their best to keep this from escalating into a war.
        I think this diary title is overstating the case pretty wildly.

        R-Money/R-Ayn, the ENRON Ticket, is not a campaign; it's a hostile takeover bid.

        by kamarvt on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:45:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps this was why Obama looked preoccupied (13+ / 0-)

    at times during the debate. Thanks for the heads up.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 01:12:10 AM PDT

  •  I would not call this a war yet (4+ / 0-)

    But if Syria is so foolish to persist, it could turn into a very short war.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 01:46:28 AM PDT

    •  It would be a very long, bloody NATO occupation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko

      The Turks might make quick mincemeat out of the Syrian military, but what then?

      Does Turkey, NATO, the US and the rest allow the Sunni to make mincemeat out of the three million Shi'ia in Syria?  

      How do we deal with the sort of genocidal killing and mass ethnic cleansing we saw during the 6 long years of war in Kosovo when the Syrian military is smashed and the Sunni militias are unleashed?

      Pottery Barn rules still apply.

      •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

        And so, apparently, does the Nato command as is suggested by the statement they issued I quote elsewhere.

        Syria will be a mess for years to come and I have to believe the restraint by Nato and Western governments has something to do with lessons learned in Lebanon.

        But regardless of how and when the Assad government falls, the problems with factional violence are bound to be a problem that will have to be dealt with.

        Bloody mess.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:23:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Very much a bloody mess of our own making (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koNko

          and that of some of our allies.

          The Obama Administration was on the verge of diplomatic breakthrough with Syria, and a new approach to Israel-Palestinian resolution, when regime change "happened" -- the origin of events during the period between the call for Day of Rage (02/04/11) and the emergence of armed resistance in Daraa (04/08/11) is very significant, and we got a very one-sided view of things here in the States.

          That also coincided with the advent of the uprising in Libya, which the U.S. clearly and admittedly had much to do with coordinating.

          These are not unconnected events, as is becoming increasingly apparent.

  •  Where does Assad own property outside of Syria? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, koNko, bluedust, OllieGarkey

    Just wondering. My first guess would be the Riviera.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 01:56:53 AM PDT

  •  At present, all that Turkey has (6+ / 0-)

    done with respect to NATO on this is invoke Article Four of the North Atlantic Treaty.  Article Four reads:

    The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.
    It is when (and if)  article Five is invoked that one can say that war is imminent.  Article Five reads:
    The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

    Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.

    North Atlantic Treaty

    Article Five has only been invoked once in NATO's history -- following 9/11.

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 02:11:45 AM PDT

  •  With or without NATO (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leveymg

    this could escalate quickly into the all-out Sunni-Shiite conflict that many have warned of.

    Iraq, Syria (the ruling tribe is shiite) and Iran on one side, Turkey, Saudi, Jordan and possibly Pakistan on the other. Not to mention a resurgence of violence inside Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon.

    In consequence, the the Gulf could be closed for business with all the economic impact that would entail.

    Yikes.

    •  um .... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, highacidity

      Fairly remote possibility.

      Israel has taken the precautionary measure to pull back troops from the Golan Heights, and obviously they would be watching Iran closely, but suggesting Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Jordan would be quick to jump into a regional conflict is a bit over the top given their history of avoiding numerous past conflicts in the region.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 02:50:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A Turkey-Syria conflict they would (0+ / 0-)

        avoid. A Sunni-Shiite conflict they would not. Syria IS a sunni-shiite conflict internally -- a shia minority ruling a sunni majority. So is Iraq.

        All it would take would be for Iran to stand by Assad in the face of an invasion and all bets are off.

  •  I'd suggest you change the title (5+ / 0-)

    To something like "Turkey retaliates for Syrian shelling".

    War has not been declared and NATO is in no hurry to insert itself at this point.

    Even if the Turkish Parliament  authorizes the resolution granting emergency powers, it does not mean this will develop into a full-fledged conflict and as I stated elsewhere, absent continued attacks from Syria it is unlikely.

    Certainly there is the potential for this to escalate but I suggest we don't get to far ahead of developments.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 02:43:57 AM PDT

  •  Iran may be about to crumble seem their money (0+ / 0-)

    is just plain worthless from the inside-out if so Assad is really done for.

  •  Ah, the neocons must be smiling now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt, leveymg

    n/t

    Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

    by truong son traveler on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:31:18 AM PDT

  •  So many silly people (3+ / 0-)

    who buy into this crap. (Not the author - who delivered a straight ahead report.)

    NATO is already at war with Syria and has been for 18 months. This is just another ploy to justify boots on the ground.

    This is the Libya scenario. Regime change of a 'brutal dictator' by staging a popular rebellion while recruiting foreign fighters to the cause. But it took real NATO forces to topple the Libyan dictator, and it will take State military force to get rid of the Syrian dictator.

    It's the brutality of Empire.

    The Later it Gets, The Faster it Gets Late

    by Michael Alton Gottlieb on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 06:50:12 AM PDT

    •  Brutality of empire - exactly that (0+ / 0-)

      The Turkish people are not keen at becoming involved in a war against Syria on behalf of NATO.

      This could possibly backfire on the current president of Turkey.

      Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

      by truong son traveler on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 08:48:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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